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Thread: CarPC with Pocket PC (Axim X30)?

  1. #1
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    Question CarPC with Pocket PC (Axim X30)?

    First off, I don't use my car enough to justify spending over, say, $100 on a CarPC. I do have plenty of old computer parts laying around (in the 400-600Mhz range) that I could possibly use in a very basic CarPC. First I thought I could buy a cheap 5.6" xbox LCD that would be ~$40 after rebate/shipping from geeks.com. My plan was to mount that in the dash of my '05 Hyundai Tiburon, use my old computer parts in the glove box, and connect the sound to my JVC headunit using an Aux to RCA cable. However, I would also like my project to be semi-reversible (meaning that drilling a hole in the back of the glove box is ok, but chopping off big pieces of the dash is not ok). Mounting the screen would force me to relocate my headunit and I'm not sure where. I'd also have to find a good way for input, since the LCD isn't a touchscreen. This brings me to my next idea:

    Since I already have a Dell Axim X30 (mid w/ Wifi and BT), could I mount the device on a swivel, then use one of those wireless technologies to communicate with the PC? Here's what I'd like to be able to do: 1) MP3s, my JVC headunit can play MP3/WMA CDs but having to spend the time to burn the CD just to add a few songs is tedious and I'd love to have several gigs of storage. It might also be cool to have something like album art or visualizations when the song is playing. 2) GPS, I'd love to have the Axim show a map and the computer read the voice commands through the car speakers. 3) Movies, maybe through a DVD drive, or just Divx compressed. Now here's my questions:

    If I buy a USB GPS receiver and attach it to the PC in the glovebox, then run a program such as Pocket Streets on my Axim, can I have the GPS data transmitted via Bluetooth or Wifi to the Pocket PC? If that's possible it seems like the audio will be coming from the Axim and not the computer if I want voice directions, any ideas on that?

    I know at the very basic level I could use my PPC as a remote control for the computer to change audio tracks, etc. Is there anyway for more control (for example, the PPC gets a list of songs, or while music is playing it gets the album art from the PC)?

    If programs to do this don't already exist, how difficult would it be to program them? Also, would VNC be a better route to take? Any other ideas, thoughts, suggestions? Thank you,
    Chris

  2. #2
    FLAC sama's Avatar
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    Hi there

    Quote Originally Posted by UTChris
    If I buy a USB GPS receiver and attach it to the PC in the glovebox, then run a program such as Pocket Streets on my Axim, can I have the GPS data transmitted via Bluetooth or Wifi to the Pocket PC? If that's possible it seems like the audio will be coming from the Axim and not the computer if I want voice directions, any ideas on that?
    for connectig GPS from PC to PPC, you can expose the serial port using the PC's bluetooth software, and use the port that the GPS is working on. which means you're basically forwarding the port. And for sound, you can just use the headphone output of your PPC, to the PC!

    Quote Originally Posted by UTChris
    I know at the very basic level I could use my PPC as a remote control for the computer to change audio tracks, etc. Is there anyway for more control (for example, the PPC gets a list of songs, or while music is playing it gets the album art from the PC)?
    There's some software that will allow you to do a ton of things. You can use Yahoo Widgets in conjuntion with a desktop extension (use computer's display on ppc). There is a thread here somewhere that I started a long time ago, something like "pocketpc as a touch screen replacement". Search around for pocketpc and you'll find plenty of things peopel have acheived. Also look for NetRemote software by proximis.

    Quote Originally Posted by UTChris
    If programs to do this don't already exist, how difficult would it be to program them? Also, would VNC be a better route to take?
    All will be revealed once you read those threads!

  3. #3
    The Lavender Tie Just
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    Rafster's Avatar
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    Why not just do something like this?

    http://mapopolis.com/bundle01.jsp?s=...5783070&p=&q=6

  4. #4
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    Hey i have a 03 tiburon and i have had a carpc for 1yr now. I am on my 3rd revision if you need any help.

  5. #5
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    for connectig GPS from PC to PPC, you can expose the serial port using the PC's bluetooth software, and use the port that the GPS is working on. which means you're basically forwarding the port. And for sound, you can just use the headphone output of your PPC, to the PC!
    Ahh, that makes sense, I thought I'd have to use a program to grab the GPS data and feed it to the pocketpc. Is this also possible over Wifi? Which brings me to another question: which would be better to use, Bluetooth, Wifi, or both? If I have a wifi adapter for the CarPC (to send media out from my home PC) would it be pointless to also use a bluetooth adapter just so the PPC can talk to the CarPC? About the sound, since I will have the CarPC's sound connected to the headunit, is it possible to send the voice directions from the PPC to the CarPC? Kind of like forwarding the GPS data, except in reverse with the sound. If not I'd have to attach both a power connector and headphone cord each time I got in the car, which would be nice to avoid if possible.

    There's some software that will allow you to do a ton of things. You can use Yahoo Widgets in conjuntion with a desktop extension (use computer's display on ppc). There is a thread here somewhere that I started a long time ago, something like "pocketpc as a touch screen replacement". Search around for pocketpc and you'll find plenty of things peopel have acheived. Also look for NetRemote software by proximis.
    Thank you for pointing me in the right direction. I'm still looking through all the info. I'd found a few other pocket pc threads before but they were focusing on using only a PPC and no computer. The way I see it I need the computer for several reason:
    Storage - gigs of space that wouldn't be available just on the PPC itself.
    Cheaper GPS - I've found USB GPS devices for ~$50, SDIO devices all seem to be way over $100, plus you have to switch it in and out.
    Wifi - as far as I know you can't use an external antenna with a PPC.

    Another question, I've looked at (without using) the NetRemote software as well as the Widgets idea and a few others. Any advice on which worked best for you before I try these out? Again, thank you for your help.

    @Rafster: I thought about going that route, but I think in my case the points I mentioned above about staying with a computer win out.

    @psptibby: I'd love to see pics of your install. Where did you mount your screen, and if you had to move your headunit, where to? I saw a thread with a CarPC in a Tiburon where the headunit was relocated to the left of the cig. lighter which requires some parts to be cut and makes the headunit hard to get to.

    I have a few other thoughts that I haven't explored much, but any early advice might be helpful. First, it seems it would be easy to display the album art of music using either NetRemote or Widgets. But how about displaying the music video of a song (more or less to show off the system). I suppose this would fall into the same category as playing movies. The only thing I can think of is to share a "videos" drive on the computer and access it from the PPC. Any other thoughts? Also, I haven't looked into the various ways to access a CarPC from inside my house, but would it be possible to maybe use WakeOnLan to turn the CarPC on using the PPC (or home computer) from inside my house? If I go with the widget idea I suppose finding/creating a Widget to shut down the computer remotely wouldn't be hard. I'm just tossing some ideas around. Again, thanks to everybody who has posted to help,
    Chris

  6. #6
    FLAC sama's Avatar
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    I would advise this:

    get the pc in the car, start using it, then see how the pocketpc can aid you. I understand that you're trying to offset some of the processing, like the gps, to the ppc. this is feasable but since the integration is loosely coupled, you'll go through a few challanges before you get that right.

    For sound, I would say the headphone idea is the simlpest and most robust method. However, you can use bluetooth's A2DP protocol to transmit sound over bluetooth. There's a lot of configuration to do that though.

    Moreover, if you share your music drive from the pc, you can use microsoft voice command to play music by voice recognition. I still recommend you read that thread I told you about 'cos all of this stuff is mentioned in there. It's all about using a PPC in conjunction with a PC in the car.

    Wifi is a wireless network and therefore it only forwards and receives packets. it doesn't have any of the fancy protocols that bluetooth has to facilitate audio over lan etc. you can always stream audio, but that means the ppc will have to be a streaming server.

    there are plenty of avenues you can take, but I always advise to go the simplest way possible!

  7. #7
    Variable Bitrate breaker021's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UTChris
    First off, I don't use my car enough to justify spending over, say, $100 on a CarPC. I do have plenty of old computer parts laying around (in the 400-600Mhz range) that I could possibly use in a very basic CarPC. First I thought I could buy a cheap 5.6" xbox LCD that would be ~$40 after rebate/shipping from geeks.com. My plan was to mount that in the dash of my '05 Hyundai Tiburon, use my old computer parts in the glove box, and connect the sound to my JVC headunit using an Aux to RCA cable. However, I would also like my project to be semi-reversible (meaning that drilling a hole in the back of the glove box is ok, but chopping off big pieces of the dash is not ok). Mounting the screen would force me to relocate my headunit and I'm not sure where. I'd also have to find a good way for input, since the LCD isn't a touchscreen. This brings me to my next idea:

    Since I already have a Dell Axim X30 (mid w/ Wifi and BT), could I mount the device on a swivel, then use one of those wireless technologies to communicate with the PC? Here's what I'd like to be able to do: 1) MP3s, my JVC headunit can play MP3/WMA CDs but having to spend the time to burn the CD just to add a few songs is tedious and I'd love to have several gigs of storage. It might also be cool to have something like album art or visualizations when the song is playing. 2) GPS, I'd love to have the Axim show a map and the computer read the voice commands through the car speakers. 3) Movies, maybe through a DVD drive, or just Divx compressed. Now here's my questions:

    If I buy a USB GPS receiver and attach it to the PC in the glovebox, then run a program such as Pocket Streets on my Axim, can I have the GPS data transmitted via Bluetooth or Wifi to the Pocket PC? If that's possible it seems like the audio will be coming from the Axim and not the computer if I want voice directions, any ideas on that?

    I know at the very basic level I could use my PPC as a remote control for the computer to change audio tracks, etc. Is there anyway for more control (for example, the PPC gets a list of songs, or while music is playing it gets the album art from the PC)?

    If programs to do this don't already exist, how difficult would it be to program them? Also, would VNC be a better route to take? Any other ideas, thoughts, suggestions? Thank you,
    Chris
    I am in the same situation - didnt want to spend the insane amount of hours putting in a car pc since i dont use my car much.

    my solution: using a touch screen tablet laptop mounted to the dash. click on the link in my signature to see what im doing.

    You can maybe even buy an older high end p3 (1ghz maybe) laptop from ebay/craigslist which has a broken screen. Then, on ebay, buy an 8" touch screen for about $190 (they are REALLY REALLY cheap on ebay) and install that. YOu dont have to go nuts and install the 8" screen into the dash - you can even mount it temporarily (like i do with my laptop) then hide the screen when you're parked. that way, no one will see your goodies ;]

    just some ideas...
    - sh00k
    Duct tape and a Bandana for the win, b!shes!!!

    My Setup:http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/show-off-your-project/73500-06-scion-xb-tablet-in-the-box.html

    Cost so far: Less than a grand ;]



    _________________
    Economy/Commuter cars + Computers = many entertained miles

  8. #8
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    Well I've pulled out my glovebox to see how things will fit. It's ironic, but a microATX motherboard won't fit because it sticks out and the glovebox won't shut. However, a full size ATX board works because of the shorter width. I've also ordered the JVC aux cable so I can see how it sounds connected to the pocket pc. I've been playing around with the voice command software and I have a shared music drive that I've mounted on the pocket pc. But I'd like some advice on the method used to play music, either keeping it on the CarPC and mounting it on the PocketPC, or using the PocketPC as a remote to a media player on the CarPC (Netremote or widgets). Here's the pros I can quickly think of for each:
    Mount network drive:
    - Can use the voice command with media player mobile
    - Using the voice command skin the buttons are huge and easy to use

    Using PPC as remote:
    - Can show album art / visualizations
    - Audio cable is always connected to CarPC
    - Using widgets can show other info, like wifi signal strength

    My question is this, are there ways to combine some of these strengths, for example, can I show album art in media player when the song is playing off a network drive? Or can I use voice command with a program such as Pocket Player?

    Also, as mentioned earlier, sama said I could use bluetooth to in essence forward GPS data to the PPC, is there a way to do this over Wifi? Thanks for the help,
    Chris

  9. #9
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    I've started to make progress (aux cable attached to headunit, sounds great from the pocketpc, and have tested mounting a network drive on the pocketpc as well as using the voice command). I also have a 400W Coleman inverter on the way and will be putting the computer in the car later this week.

    I haven't found a way to send the GPS data from the PC to the PocketPC over Wifi. Is there any way to forward the COM port from the computer to the pocket pc over Wifi? Thanks,
    Chris

  10. #10
    FLAC sama's Avatar
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    hey dude

    not sure if you already read this thread already, but it may be of help as lots of other people's ideas went in there.

    about wifi serial forwarding, I've not heard of any tools that do that. so you'll have to do some searching to see. I know that remote desktop can do this from pc to pc, but again, not seen it from pc to ppc.

    you may have to write some software yourself to do that. which would be a virtual comport on the ppc, that connects to a server via ip address+port. and the server forwards the serial stream into that port. it's failry simple once you get past the ppc framework learnign curve (I don't know ppc programming)

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